Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Opening Day is great - right?

Despite my somewhat recent obsession with the Brewers (2005), I’ve never actually been to Opening Day. I know it’s a Milwaukee holiday to be celebrated on par with St. Patrick’s Day, but see, even with my Irish roots, I don’t head out on March 17.

The last time I could have been classified as drunk, it was off a bottle or two of wine. I can face it – I’m a light weight.

Besides, at $60 a ticket, I want to watch the game. I’m the girl at Miller Park telling you to sit down so I can see the game – I’m not there to get drunk, party, take pictures with my friends or fail to remember anything that actually happened.

I enjoy the game.

Add last year’s abundance of Cubs fans and there wasn’t much you could have done to talk me into going.

Yeah, yeah, call me a stick in the mud, but I was just as happy listening to Uecker on the radio and starting my season’s Miller Park watching at the next day’s game.

But Opening Day is a rite of passage for all Brewers fans and we decided that this year it was time to go. We aren’t able to buy season tickets because we’re both looking at out of state jobs and could be gone next month, so we couldn’t get tickets that way. We weren’t picked for the lottery, so it seemed like our Opening Day virginity was going to stay in tact for another year.

The miraculously two Fridays ago the Brewers sent out an unannounced email saying they had some seats left and those who’d signed up for the first drawing were now being given a second chance. Ten minutes, I had club level seats in my hot little mandibles. Sweet – not only do I get to go to the game, but I’m in area where d-bagness should be kept to a minimum.

So we hooked up with some friends who have done this before and the tailgating begins at 8 or 9 am. The mimosa fixin’s have been purchased, the menu is set and the countdown has begun.

And I’m a little afraid I’m going to hate it.

I’m trying to keep a positive attitude, but 30 year olds who know their alcohol limit and go barreling over that line anyway drive me nuts. I’m proprietarial about my Brewers. I’ve spent six months waiting for the season to begin again. I’m going to be really annoyed when I don’t get to see Prince’s first home run of the season because the guy next to me can’t hold his liquor.

Am I being a negative Nancy?

I’m telling myself that knowing all these things are possibilities is preparing me for the situation so that I don’t get AS upset, but maybe I’m ruining the fun before it ever begins.

There have to be Brewer fans out there who don’t go to Opening Day just to get wasted, right? Are any of you out there?

It can’t just be another excuse to get wasted that makes Opening Day such a huge day in Milwaukee, right?

The food has to be at least part of the equation, right?

Some people will be making elaborate spreads and crazy food, but we’re sticking to our tried and true tailgating grub. It’s been months since we’ve had it and it wouldn’t feel right to not include the taco dip and pasta salad in the festivities.

I’ve spent at least an hour on the phone this week trying to figure out how I can have fresh Miller’s Bakery Pretzel rolls on Monday morning. The answer is – I can’t. No one will be open on Sunday, so I’ll be buying my rolls on Saturday and hoping they still taste yummy on Monday.

We’re also rocking the Sendik’s Jim Beam bacon cheeseburger patties. Yes folks – all those things are mixed into the patty. If you haven’t discovered the greatness of these burgers, I urge you to check them out.

The weather is calling for 60 degrees – the whole thing couldn’t be any better, right?

I really am excited for this – I swear. It’s just a cautious optimism.


hawing said...

Opening Day is kind of like church on Easter or Christmas, or (since you touched on it a bit, March 17 at the bars) - heavy on the non-regulars. Like you, I go for the games and am not into the wastedness (which I doubt the Brewers can even keep out of the family sections).

My opening day tradition is to get to a computer + radio or TV and revel with my fellow online fans. Game 2 is our home opener, where the crowds will be more sparse, yet more engaged with the game.

There are others who go for the game - fear not. And for what it's worth, my understanding is that the Cubs/Brewers fan ratio in last year's home opener was pretty favorable for the Brewers.

Your menu for Monday sounds excellent. You've raved about the pretzel rolls before and I will have to find some someday.

Anonymous said...


You are 100% correct on everything you said in this article. I can't stand going to games with my friends only to have it ruined by their stupidity and drunkeness. I am the "negative nelly" who will yell at people to sit down, or to be quiet because I want to watch the game.

In September of '08 my now wife and I had our engagement party at Miller Park to watch the Giants take on the Crew. While it was awesome to have a group of 20 of us at the game all sitting by each other, everyone wanted to mingle and get wasted, and I wanted to see Sheets take on Barry Zito.

I have never attended opening day, and don't intend to anytime soon. I am very picky with who I attend a game with because I don't want it ruined by someone else's stupidity.

- Johnny O

Anonymous said...

I haven't been to Opening Day in years, for precisely the reasons you happen to be concerned with. It brings out the fair-weather fans and the drunkards, neither of which have enough respect for the game or the other fans attempting to watch it. I'll stick with staying far, far away from Opening Day.

Gregor said...

This will be my first Opening Day as well, Nicole. Little worried about what kind of crowd it's going to be (especially the group I'm going with) but any day with burgers on pretzel buns is a good one.

Anonymous said...

I went to opening day for the first time last year. It really didn't seem any worse than any other game I've gone to. I did have pretty good seats down the first base line, so it might just be more calm where people have to pay more money for seats.

hawing said...

So...what did you think?